Varying attempts have been made to articulate conceptual order on the innovation processes of organisations, in the form of innovation process models. The variety amongst the models is the consequence of a lack of consensus as to how an innovation process should look like, given the unique contexts, environments, and purposes for which they are developed (Tidd, 2006 ; Eleveens, 2010 ). For O’Raghallaigh (2010) , innovation models are important because they offer a simplified external representation of a complex system to “…assist innovators and management teams in framing, understanding, and acting on the issues which need managing”.

A snapshot of a range of simplified innovation process is presented in Table 1 to illustrate, at a high level the range of components reflected in innovation modelling. The variety amongst such models is the consequence of a lack of consensus as to how an innovation process should look like, given the unique contexts, environments, and purposes for which they are developed (Tidd, 2006; Eleveens, 2010).


Simplified Innovation Process Models

simplifiedprocessmodels

Simplified Model of an Innovation Process (Tidd, et al., 2005)

processbased

Process Based Model of Innovation (Chiesea et al., 1996)

stagegate

TeamGuide Innovation Model (TECNOLÓGICA, 1999)

stagegatemodel

Cooper Stage Gate Model (Cooper, 1990)


While the cited models differ in their schematic layout, they all begin with some form of idea generation and trace the phases from development through to implementation. Tidd et al. (2005) indicate that an organisational innovation model needs to support the searching for, selection of, implementation and capture of innovative ideas supported by an overarching innovation organisation and strategy. Similarly, the TEAMGUIDE innovation model offers a phased approach from beginning with scanning and ending in implementation and learning. The stage-gate process, developed by Cooper, has the most distinctive and orderly phases. His earlier versions of the stage gate process more or less prescribe that the next phase can only start, if the project complied with all the requirements of the previous stage. However, the stage gate process has evolved to incorporate cyclical and feedback loops to address the limitation of a strict linear pattern. In addition to the temporal phases/stages of innovation processes, the aforementioned models underscore the organisational consideration in the form of strategy, leadership, resourcing and system and tools.

Innovation processes illustrate the phases associated with the exploration of opportunities for new and/or improved products, processes and services, stimulated by advancements in technical practice or alternatively changes in market demand, and ideally a combination of both drivers (Pavitt, 2005) . In this vein, innovation process depictions commonly adopt a wide-scope view, encompassing the schema, phases and processes from the decision to commence research on an opportunity or problem, to development, commercialization, implementation and diffusion (Rogers, 1995) . Koen (2005) divides the innovation process into three distinct categories: the Fuzzy front end (FFE) concerning ideation generation and selection, the New Product Development Portion (NPD), and Commercialization. The next section, explores these phases in more detail.


While models may differ in their schematic layout, they all begin with some form of idea generation and trace the phases from selection, development through to implementation. In this vein, innovation model depictions commonly adopt a wide-scope view, encompassing the schema, phases and processes from the decision to commence research on an opportunity or problem, to development, commercialization, implementation and diffusion (Rogers, 1995). The Stage-Gate process (Cooper, 1990) has the most distinctive and orderly phases which more or less prescribe that each phase can only start, if the project complied with all the requirements of the previous phase. The innovation process, according to the Stage Gate model consists of a range of gates to evaluate the various stages in the innovation development journey. In addition to the temporal phases/stages of innovation processes depicted in table 1 above, the Innovation Pentathlon Model (Goffin and Pfeiffer, 1999) models underscore the organisational consideration in the form of strategy, leadership, resourcing and system and tools (Figure 1).

 

pentathlonmodel

Figure 1 The Pentathlon Model

Source: Goffin and Pfeiffer (1999)


The five interlocking elements referred to in the pentathlon are:
• Ideas Management & Creativity Management;
• Prioritization, Selection and Portfolio Management;
• Implementation Management (NPD etc.);
• Innovation Strategy;
• Human Resource Management (People and Organisation).

The pentathlon framework accommodates a wider range of soft organisational issues than the traditional linear innovation model. It overcomes the deficiencies of typical phased models by including: HRM, Creativity/Ideas Management, the selection of priorities, and the importance of market conditions (in respect of the products, processes and services). At the top of the model lies the role of an innovation strategy, which will dictate what is needed in terms of the focus and goals, communication, technology and the measurement of success. In the middle of the model, a flow is often conceptualised within a funnel, indicating a move of the ideas through a prioritisation process as and through to implementation and new product development interactions with the marketplace. Underneath this middle section, the model depicts the formalisation of the human element in innovation. The pentathlon framework (Goffin and Pfeiffer, 1999) is distinctive from earlier models in featuring the human factor in innovation; specifically, recognising how the people and organizational climate play a role, and consequently, the value of seeking a conducive culture, where people are motivated to innovate.

 

J. Tidd, "A review of innovation models discussion paper 1," Science and Technology Policy Research Unit, Tanaka Business School, University of Sussex, 2006.
C. Eleveens, "Innovation Management: A Literature Review of Innovation Process Models and their Implications," Nijmegen, NL, 2010
P. O'Raghallaigh, D. Sammon and C. Murphy, "A re-conceptualisation of innovation models to support decision design," Journal of Decision Systems, vol. 20, no. 4, p. 369, 2011.
J. Tidd, J. Bessant, and K. Pavit, “Managing Innovation – Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2005.
V. Chiesa, V., P. Coughlan, and C. Voss, C, “Development of a Technical Innovation Audit”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Volume 13, pp. 105-36, 1996.
TECNOLÓGICA, COTEC – FUNDACIÓN COTEC PARA LA INNOVACIÓNCoates, “On the Future of Technological Forecasting”, Technology Forecasting Social Change, 67(1), pp. 1-17, 2001.
R. Cooper, “Stage-Gate Systems: a new tool for managing new products”, Business Horizons, Volume 33, pp. 44-56, 1990.
K. Pavitt, K., “Innovation Processes”, In: The Oxford Handbook of Innovation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
E. Rogers, “Diffusion of Innovations”. New York: The Free Press, 1995.
P. Koen, “The Fuzzy Front End for Incremental, Platform, and Breakthrough Products”. In: The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons., pp. 81-91, 2005.
K. Goffin, K. and R. Pfeiffer, “Innovation Management in UK and German Manufacturing Companies”. London: Anglo-German Foundation, 1999.

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